Any number of factors can lead to a lack of focus and mental clarity. Age and lack of sleep are main reasons for this and in today’s fast-paced world, both focus and mental clarity are of the utmost importance. More than ever, people are multi-tasking and being pulled in several different directions at once.
During this, it can be frustrating both for you and for others if you are trying to concentrate but can’t. Having mental clarity and being able to focus will allow you to accomplish all that you set out to do. Lack of focus and brain fog can lead to not living up to our full potential.
Given how important focus and mental clarity are, what are the ways we can boost them?
Practical ways to improve focus and mental clarity
The practices of meditation and mindfulness have several benefits, including:
- Reduced stress
- Increased feelings of calm
- Stimulates emotional health
- Increases self-awareness
- Maintain healthy blood pressure
- Increased focus and mental clarity
It’s important to note that meditation is more than simply sitting quietly, and usually involves deep breathing, yoga, or a mantra.
Taking a break
If, in the moment, you find that you are overwhelmed and losing focus and your clarity, taking a break might seem illogical; it is, however, an effective way to regain your focus and mental clarity. In situations where you are pushing yourself so hard that your focus begins to wander and your clarity is dropping, taking a mental break can help you regain those things.
It can be as simple as taking a short walk and getting a nutritious snack or a cool drink, or as extensive as engaging in a short session of mediation so that you can return to your task feeling more focused and clearer.
Multiple studies have linked prolonged lack of sleep and poor focus and mental clarity. If this is the case for you, getting more or better-quality sleep can lead to better focus and mental clarity.
One of the best ways to get better sleep is to stick to a sleep routine, that is, falling asleep and waking at roughly the same time each day, even if your schedule varies during the day. On a similar note, getting into a bedtime routine is a helpful way to let your body know that it is time to go to sleep and can help you fall asleep faster and sleep better.
Another way to get better quality sleep is to workout. A regular exercise routine (try for 3-5 times a week) can significantly improve energy levels, when performed at low to moderate levels. Exercise also works in the opposite way by making it easier to have a deep sleep. By exercising and sleeping sufficiently both activities will be enhanced.
If you are doing all these things and are still not sleeping well, reach out to your doctor for a sleep study, as there may be another cause behind your lack of sleep.
Maintaining a healthy blood sugar level
Elevated blood sugar levels have been linked to lower levels of focus and mental clarity. The reason for this is that high levels of blood sugar appear to disrupt the communication pathways of the brain.
On the other hand, low blood sugar levels can also lead to lower levels of focus and mental clarity. Prolonged periods of low blood sugar can lead to a loss of consciousness, which, if repeated often enough, will have a lasting impact on focus and mental clarity.
The best way to ensure your blood sugar level does not impact your focus and mental clarity is to keep your sugar in the healthy range.
One way to increase focus and mental clarity is by training your brain. This keeps your brain active, which helps you focus and retain mental clarity. One good way to train your brain is with some types of games, such as:
- Crosswords and word searches
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Word jumbles
- Memory games
Just like physical activity keeps your body healthy, mental activity keeps your brain sharp and helps you maintain high levels of focus and mental clarity.
8 ingredients that support focus and mental clarity
1. Gingko extract
One natural way to boost focus is with gingko extract. Gingko extract is derived from the leaves of the gingko biloba plant and is most often taken in capsule form. Gingko extract has natural soothing properties that can ease distracting tension in the neck and head. It also helps support brain function in healthy individuals, not only helping with focus, but also with perceived well-being, memory, and attention span.
One symptom of low blood levels of omega-3s is a lack of focus as well as fatigue. If this is the case, some studies have shown that adding an omega-3 supplement or eating more food rich in omega-3s can help you regain your focus and mental clarity.
Foods rich in omega-3s include:
- Fish and seafood, especially cold-water fish (for instance: oysters, salmon, anchovies, herring, sardines and tuna)
- Nuts and seeds (for instance: flaxseed, walnuts, and chia seeds)
- Fortified foods (for instance: some kinds of eggs, yogurts and juices)
3. B Vitamins
Studies have shown time and time again that B vitamins are crucial to healthy brain function, which includes focus and mental clarity. Unfortunately, the body does not produce B vitamins, so we need to either take supplements or consciously eat foods that are high in B vitamins, so that our brains can function as they are supposed to!
Foods that are high in B vitamins include:
- Whole grains such as brown rice and barley
- Meat, especially red meat as well as poultry and fish
- Eggs and dairy products
- Legumes such as beans and lentils
- Seeds and nuts like sunflower seeds and almonds
- Dark leafy vegetables like broccoli, collared greens, turnip greens and spinach
- Fruits like citrus, avocados and bananas
- Green tea
For centuries, both Japan and China have used tea to support their brain health. Specifically, green tea has a protein in it which has a natural soothing effect and can help improve focus and mental clarity. In addition to that, simply the routine of steeping a cup of tea can be relaxing and help you regain your mental clarity.
Since caffeine is a stimulant, it can work with the central nervous system to increase focus and mental clarity, as well as alertness and attention.
5. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate also has caffeine, which stimulates the central nervous system the same way it does in coffee. Dark chocolate also has antioxidants, which help support whole body health. Unlike coffee though, dark chocolate also has a high level of flavonoids, which also help encourage focus and mental clarity.
Other sources of flavonoids include:
- Black tea
Although ginseng is widely known for boosting energy, it also can support both focus and mental clarity. Ginseng has origins in both Asia and in America, but current studies also suggest a postive link between ginseng use and focus and mental clarity.
7. Huperzine A
Huperzine A is derived from a plant called Chinese club moss. It supports natural brain function, memory problems and mental clarity caused by the normal aging process.
8. Phosphatidylserine - PS
Phosphatidylserine is naturally produced in the body and is a fatty substance that protects every cell in the body. It can also be found in meat and seafood. It is especially important in the brain, where it helps to transmit messages between the nerve cells. Supplementing your Phosphatidylserine can help support focus and mental clarity.
Best way to retain focus and mental clarity
It may seem overwhelming to look at the above list and feel like there is a lot to work on but remember, small changes can make a big difference. For example, pick one thing on the list of practical steps and focus on that for the month.
This might be setting yourself a strict bedtime and adhering to it until it has become a normal habit. Add in a crossword or sudoku when having your coffee on a slow Sunday morning and you’ve just ticked two more off the checklist. Add in a supplement like MitoQ Brain which not only contains our world-first, mitochondria-rejuvenating form of CoQ10 that can help balance CoQ10 levels, improve performance, support mental focus and overall health. It also contains a number of premium ingredients, including Gingko, Huperzine A and PS mentioned above.
As these habits begin to compound, take a moment to notice how you are feeling. Are you able to power through the 3pm slump or have you noticed that your recall is better? Do you notice you are more alert when waking or are you able to pump out your work at super speed? By noting how you are feeling along the way, it makes it easier to identify what is working for you.